Organizations often give mixed signals with innovation. There is a constant drumbeat to come up with the new ideas that will take a business forward. Yet, there is also resistance to change and pressure to maintain the status quo. It’s an innovation catch-22.
A few years ago, I attended an innovation brainstorm that rented out a room full of beanbag chairs to illustrate how unencumbered everyone should feel in coming up with ideas. Yet, to kick off the day, an executive stepped up to a podium to lecture about everything that was off the table, which turned out to be everything. It felt like a wet blanket, and created a disorienting message that we should be innovative, but not too innovative.
Beanbag chairs and squishy brainstorming toys aren’t enough to create a culture of innovation. We need to apply just as much creativity to what happens after the brainstorm as in the brainstorm itself.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)
Here’s another cartoon that I drew on this theme in 2011.